Top 3 FP&A Partnership Projects
Posted by Chris Ortega
So, you got support from your executive leadership team and you hired or grown some talent in FP&A. Now, you are ready to set your team lose on some business partnership projects to deliver value. Where do you start? How do you start? What projects will have the most impact and value to your business and maximize your FP&A teams’ talent? Well this article will explore three top FP&A business partnership projects to deliver value and supercharge your FP&A team.
3 – 5 Year Business Planning
A 3 to 5-year business plan is the first recommended business partnership FP&A project to deliver value. Why? This plan will encompass sales, marketing, operations, human resources and strategic planning. Also, will help your team get involved in asking the right questions and begin thinking about the future. Your team will be evolving FP&A from Financial Planning & Analysis to Future Planning & Actions through partnership. The goal is for FP&A to facilitate the deep thinking and conversations not producing a precise 3 – 5-year business plan. Why not you might ask? Realistically, businesses, markets and other factors will limit your precision however getting leaders thinking long term is the win!
3-, 6-, or 12-Month Rolling Forecast
Many organisations still only look at their business during the annual budget process. On a serious note, the annual budgeting process was a 1940’s business school idea where organisations spent a tremendous amount of time, energy and effort during August to November. Let’s take a moment to show our appreciation to the “annual budget” process. #ripannualbudget
Now, implementing a three, six- or twelve-month rolling forecast is more efficient and develops critical business relationships to navigate volatility. Also, this initiative drives two key areas that FP&A teams can leverage to deepen business partnerships. One is consistency because the business is reviewing the same drivers, factors or plan assumptions which aligns business messaging. Second, new information, elements or changes are constantly used to shape the forecast time horizon. Gone is the business snapshot which is part of the annual budget process and is replaced with the business story.
Researching & Implementing a Business Intelligence Technology
Honestly, there is a silent T in FP&A and that T is for technology. Technology adoption is critical to FP&A 2.0 teams. First, FP&A 1.0 is getting the people and processes in place thereby forming the foundation of strong business partnership and analysis. FP&A 2.0 is building on that foundation by leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics and other use cases.
Why business intelligence first? Business intelligence helps strengthen business partnership because it facilitates FP&A to lead discussions, mapping and planning around key performance indicators in functional areas. For example, one of the best places to start is in your sales and marketing functional areas. Some sales & marketing key performance indicators are ROI on marketing spend, customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value and others. Sales and marketing is one of the richest business areas to deep dive into how these metrics drive business results. Whoever said finance and FP&A is not a revenue-producing unit they were wrong!
Business partnership and delivering organisational value for FP&A teams is next level. To be transparent, initiatives take time and its critical you have people, process and leadership commitment to have the discussed business partnership impact. Keep pushing, trust the process and don’t rush the process!